I won! We won! Everybody won!

Thanks so much, everyone, if you voted for me for “Funniest Blog” in the Catholic New Media Awards — I won!  I’ve been putting off announcing it because I felt a sudden, overbearing pressure to be, well, the funniest blog.  But when I sat down at the keyboard and was like, “Come on, brain!  Joke!” my brain was all, “Oh, um, ahhh!  Wocka WOCKA!”  My husband laughed, but I wasn’t sure I could put it across.

Anyway, lots of excellent choices were made:

The National Catholic Register won Best Overall Catholic Website and Best Group Blog!

Hallie Lord won Most Entertaining Blog for Betty Beguiles!

Jen Fulwiler won Everything for Most Everything Everything in the world — and I voted for her, darn it, because she’s that good!(Specifically, Conversion Diary won Best Blog By a Woman, Best Written Blog, Most Spiritual Blog, People’s Choice, Tallest Catholic Blogger, Fastest Catholic Typist, Nicest Catholic Teeth, and Most Insidious Subliminal Messages On a Catholic Blog, If You Read It Backwards While Stoned.)

The Anchoress, The Crescat, Creative Minority Report, Bad Catholic, That Strangest of Wars, and The Ironic Catholic are also favorites of mine which won awards from New Catholic Media.  Do check them out — that is, after all, the purpose of these awards:  to encourage people to read good stuff they may have missed.*

I spent all morning pushing to get a super secret project done (more details soon!), and then I went to the post-hurricane beach with the kids for several hours, in an effort to forget that people are still mad — mad! — at me for saying that Thomas Kinkade should be taken out and slowly beheaded with blunt sporks because of all the baby ducklings I hear he’s been torturing, or whatever it was I apparently said.  Then I made supper.

Anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is that I left someone off, or messed up all the links again, I’m just tired.  And if you sent me congratulations and I forgot to respond, I’m sorry — I’m just tired.  I know, we’re all tired.  We’re all Tiredest Catholic Bloggers.  We win!

*That’s to answer the implied question of my 12-year-old daughter, who just said, “Oh, you won?  And you won . . . a picture of a trophy?  Okay.”


Nose Newts

1.  Vote for me in the Catholic New Media Awards!  Voting closes Friday, August 26.  You have to register (that’s how they make sure people only vote once — you know how sneaky Catholics are), but it’s very fast and easy, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped me achieve something about which Vox Nova,in a statement entirely devoid of envy, snobbery, or tear-stained, puppy-kicking denial, says, “The absurdity of such awards should be self-evident.”

2. Vote for the National Catholic Register for best group blog!  Because, come on, it isthe best group blog.  Oh, and Best Overall Catholic Website, too!  Vote!  There are many other excellent blogs and podcasts worthy of your vote, too, but since I already voted, I can’t seem to see the list anymore.

3. Register Radio is coming!  Register Radio is coming!  This 30-minute program will launch on September 2, and will include all sorts of things:  news, interviews, Catholic views on entertainment and the media, and a “top blogger” spot, following up on whatever people got the most het up about in the last week.  I’ll have more information soon about how and when to listen.

4.  We finally received the replacement part for the broken kitchen faucet.  It wasn’t the worst thing in the world to fill a bucket with water from the bathtub and lug it into the kitchen in order to do dishes or clean anything, and then rinse soapy pots and pans off in the bathtub, and run the shower to get the coffee stains out of the bath toys that didn’t get put away, and constantly hear, “GET OUT OF DA BAFFWOOM, I’M FIRSTY AND I NEED A DWINK!!!!” and stuff.  For two weeks.  But I sure didn’t like it.

3.  I gots plenty more to say about Thomas Kinkade, but right now I’m so tired, I’m  having trouble completing the second half of blinking (the opening-my-eyes-again part).  Hope to follow up soon, but in the mean time, let me say that his work qualifies as shite entirely on its own merits — has nothing to do with Kinkade’s personal success or popularity, or with his personal loathsome behavior.  It’s all about the painting.  I’m willing to forgive people who enjoy his work, but I’m not willing to agree that there’s nothing to forgive.

6.  I just noticed that I numbered these paragraphs “1, 2, 3, 4, 3″ and “6.”


Seven Decorating Tips from House Horrible Magazine

We’ve had a lot of doctor’s appointments lately, so I’ve been reading a lot of dumb magazines.  My favorite features are the ones that show some enviable tableau from someone’s home, and then glibly explains how to achieve this effect.

I don’t mean to promote envy, but it occurs to me that my house is full of uncommon little scenes which you may or may not want to recreate in your own home, depending on how much crack you’re smoking.  And so I present:

Seven Quick Ways To Spruce Down Your Home



This effect can be achieved by allowing your teenage daughter to be the only one in the house with her own bedroom — the trade-off being that her room is the one everyone else has to tramp through on their way to their own rooms.  Her only recourse will be to hang a sheet in front of the most sacrosanct part of her living quarters, and to make that sheet as threatening as possible.  To prep for this project, expose your child to inappropriate movies and heavy doses of sarcasm at an early age.



These gorgeous gold footprint stencils adorning the back steps simply scream, “Yes, yes, spray paint anything you like, just let me finish this post!”  Or maybe that was me screaming.



This fin de siècle vignette captures the very moment when our family made its last stab at homeschooling, and then gave up and just taught the kids poker.  For an edgy touch, someone seems to have taken a bite out of the bulletin board.



You can achieve this effect by leaving the camera lying around unguarded.



Classic trompe l’oeil:  to the untrained eye, it may appear that Mama went to the bathroom for a couple of minutes or an hour or two, and the little ones got into the paper plates and glue.  But in fact, what you’re really seeing here is:  “I make a fwower for you, Mama!”



A progressive approach to decorating, with a twofold purpose:  one, to encourage creativity in your children; and two, to give parents plenty of practice rehearsing the phrase:  “He’s going to grow out of it at some point, right?”



You’ve heard of shabby chic?  This is happy bleak.  Tie festive balloons to your mailbox every time a kid has a birthday.  Never get around to untying them.  Feel shame daily.

Well, that’s it.  Now you know how you, too, can have . . . House Horrible.  Don’t forget to check out Conversion Diary for everyone else’s Seven Quick Takes!


Good Writing Is Not a Luxury

If there’s one thing that drives me bonkers (and there are actually about 53,429 things and counting), it’s when someone assumes that his own talent, hobby, or vocation is a moral issue for everyone else.  For instance, the women who loves decorating and cleaning and arranging is convinced that every wife and mother has a moral duty to put the beauty of her home over all other pursuits.  Or the guy who has conquered sloth and gluttony through serial triathalons is sure that the sedentary college professor is sinning because he doesn’t work out much.

Not so, hot shots.  God may be calling you to work out your salvation through one particular area of interest, but that doesn’t mean He’s calling everyone to the same thing.  Everyone has a vocation, a skill to develop for the service of God — but these skills vary as much as, of course, people do themselves.

Well, you can judge for yourself if I’m guilty of the same hobby-as-moral-imperative fallacy here when I say that it’s very important for Catholics to learn how to write.